Main Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas
Archive: Ask, and ye shall receive.
Warning: Male homosexual relationship, male love interaction. Slash. Angst. Bring your hanky.
Disclaimer: I'm just a fangirl who ran off with the characters. Don't sue me, you won't get much.
Summary: The Breaking of the Fellowship has left Aragorn in despair...but Legolas' attempt to comfort the Man leaves their hearts in ruins. Sequel to "No Ordinary Love".
Another part to the "No Ordinary Love" series. What started out as a one-shot in "Comfort", has become a friggin' series to span all three movies as they come out. I'll be doing a prequel to "Comfort" after this, and then I'll hold off until the Twin Towers comes out this winter. This is pretty much movie-verse, with book-verse sprinkled in wherever I damn well want to sprinkle it. Deal. Oh, and forgive my earlier mistakes, but in the movie, Legolas had very dark blue eyes. I describe them correctly in this story, and will edit the others to reflect his real eye color. Arwen makes another appearance in here, and if I'm any judge of how the plot's gonna turn out for the rest of the movie trilogy, I'll be able to reintegrate her into the storyline further on. After all it's Aragorn/Legolas slash *and* Aragorn/Arwen romance... Everyone loves a good love triangle, right? Right??
Part Three of the "Just a Glimmer" Story Arc
On the third time that Aragorn stumbled, Legolas caught him.
"Gimli!" Legolas cried, as Aragorn struggled weakly against the Elf, trying to regain his equilibrium.
"Let me go, Legolas. We must hurry," Aragorn barked, shoving the Elf away from him tiredly, his exhaustion weakening his strength.
Legolas didn't even cast a glance at the Man as Gimli ambled up to him, his gruff face etched with concern for the teetering Aragorn. "We will rest here for a few hours," Legolas said evenly, a hint of command in his voice.
Normally, Gimli would bristle at an Elf's orders, but he merely nodded, glancing again at Aragorn.
"No. We must keep on, Legolas. Merry and Pippin...we must save them," Aragorn snarled, dark circles under his eyes and dried tears on his face.
Legolas hung his head. "Look at yourself, Aragorn. Look at all of us. We're exhausted. We've been fighting or running all day long. You're wounded, not too mention even more exhausted than I or Gimli. You are, after all, only human," Legolas said, trying to sound gentle.
Aragorn's green eyes flashed. "Are you trying to suggest I am weaker than you or Gimli, little Elf?" he hissed angrily, clenching his fist and stepping towards the blond Elf to prove that he was larger than Legolas by towering over him. Gimli clenched his axe, glancing at Legolas, as if waiting for orders, though he'd never admit it.
Never before had Legolas thought Aragorn capable of violence towards him. His night blue eyes widened, but he retained his composure. "You bleed, even now. You were severely beaten by someone three times your size and strength. You are a Man. This is not a weakness, my old friend. This is a fact, and I know Elves and Dwarves alike who could not withstand the Uruk-Hai's blows as you did," Legolas said evenly. It was his responsibility to take care of them, now. He was, after all, the oldest, and Aragorn was in no condition to be leader at the moment.
Aragorn took a step back, clutching his head and looking ashamed. "I am sorry, Legolas, I did not mean..."
"Never mind, Aragorn. We are all tired. Even if we caught up to the Orcs, we are all too weak and hungry to fight them. We would be killed. Let us rest, and then return to the hunt. We share your concern for the hobbits, but there is naught we can do. T'would be folly to get killed in the process of trying to save their lives," Legolas advised.
"And I hate to say it, Aragorn, but whatever the Orcs are going to do to Merry and Pippin, they would already have done," Gimli said, trying to help. Aragorn's jaw worked and Legolas winced. That was not exactly a comforting statement.
"We must save them. Now," Aragorn said and turned to walk away. His tired legs gave out on him and he would have fallen, but Legolas caught him again, gently easing the larger Man to the ground.
"We cannot, Aragorn. We would all die in the attempt. To save two lives, would you kill all five of us? The Orcs are being ordered by Saruman. He would want to torture them himself. They'll be untouched when we get to them, as long as it is before Saruman does. And even the Orcs must rest. Please Aragorn, you are killing yourself...and us...please rest...please," Legolas begged, leaving aside his Elven dignity to urge wisdom into the ranger's head. Grief had clouded Aragorn's thinking.
"Nay...I cannot allow any more of us to die..." Aragorn said, his voice breaking and he tried once again to stand.
"Then let us rest, Estel. Please..."
Aragorn looked up, his face wet, and his eyes full of guilt. He stood up and stumbled over to a tree, where he slid down, resting his back against it. He closed his eyes, his jaw working, and tears spilling silently down his dirty cheeks.
"So be it, youngest Prince of Mirkwood. I will not fight you."
Legolas saw the way Aragorn's chest rose and fell, and he saw the failure in the Man's eyes. Legolas stood up, casting a glance back at the dwarf who stood there uncomfortably.
"Gimli, please gather us some firewood, so we may warm ourselves. I trust you can hunt us down some dinner?" Legolas asked.
Gimli grunted. "I can and will do both, Elf. And better than you can," he said, almost as an afterthought, as if to make it sound like he wasn't taking orders from an Elf. He knew why Legolas was sending him out and not going to go help. Legolas had long suspected that Gimli knew of Legolas' feelings towards Aragorn, but the dwarf had thus far said nothing of it.
Legolas favored his friend with a small smile. He was in no mood to argue with him. Aragorn needed him. "Which is why I asked you, Gimli," he said gently, to soothe Gimli's pride, and have the dwarf leave sooner.
Gimli, however, jerked his head to a tree and stepped meaningfully towards it. Legolas sighed, casting a glance back at Aragorn, who was very quietly trying to stop himself from crying. Legolas followed the dwarf after a moment.
Gimli was staring at Aragorn from behind a few trees, and glanced at the tall, beautiful Elf when Legolas appeared before him. "He's...going to be alright, isn't he? I've never seen him act like that," Gimli asked softly.
Legolas chewed his bottom lip. "I don't know, Gimli. I don't know if he's going to be alright," he said, glancing longingly towards Aragorn. He needed to comfort him, soothe his pain, make him feel better. Aragorn needed his love right now, not for Legolas to tarry with Gimli.
"You're not his whore, Legolas," Gimli said firmly, his bold statement forcing Legolas to rip his eyes off of Aragorn and onto the dwarf.
"What do you mean by that, dwarf?" Legolas bristled, his eyes narrowing in anger.
"It is rare...for a dwarf...to favor his own gender...almost unheard of, and certainly not well spoken of. In fact, I've only heard one or two tales, and never met one that dallied with another man. But you Elves, and even the race of Men, are different, I suppose. Especially you Elves. Though I suppose if I was alive for three thousand years, even I might tire of a dwarf lass and wish to try-"
"Gimli," Legolas warned, stopping the dwarf's rambling.
"You love him. I know that. I can tell. Love is love, I suppose. And in Lothlorien...I saw you two...at night...you'd give him anything he asked, wouldn't you? I've never seen an Elf act so undignified, so graceless before then. You acted like a child around him. Well, by Elven standards, anyway. Still pretty mature by Men‘s standards," Gimli said.
Legolas glanced again at Aragorn. "Make your point, Gimli," he said tiredly.
"You're not his whore. When he wants his comfort, you give him everything, but he gives naught in return. He pays you with his attentions for a moment, and paws you, feeds off of your love. Treats you just like his whore. But you're not one. And I don't wish to see you hurt," Gimli said awkwardly.
Legolas almost wanted to laugh at the absurdity of what just came out of Gimli's mouth. "Why would you care whether I get hurt or not?" Legolas asked bitterly.
"Because you are my friend, Legolas. He is selfish."
"He doesn't know, Gimli. I haven't told him. He thinks he is one of my Elven whims, a passing curiosity, a notch in my bow."
Gimli blinked, and gaped. "Oh," was all he said.
"I am his friend, his brother. It's all I should be to him. He doesn't need any more pain. He doesn't need mine as well, and if you knew him, you'd know he would share it. He loves the Lady Arwen...and I don't deserve such devotion," Legolas said blankly, as if reciting his arithmetic.
Gimli creased his brows. "I know he is a good Man, and I love him as a brother, as I do you. But he is still hurting you. I can see it in your eyes. Your heart is breaking. It is like you wear the One Ring around your heart."
"Mayhaps we all wear the One Ring around our hearts. He needs me, Gimli. He suffers as badly as Frodo, in his own way. We tarry too long. I must lend him strength."
"And what does he give you in return?"
Legolas turned away. "I have never loved before. But now that I do...I know that I need nothing in return. Just to give him my love is enough," he choked.
"Is it? I have never loved, so I cannot say."
"Please, Gimli, I beg of you not to do this to me. I give him myself of my own free will. And you are right. Whatever he wishes, I will give him. Now please...find the food and the firewood," Legolas said, his voice breaking, as he tried not to let his own emotions consume him. No, he must remain strong. Aragorn needed him right now...
Gimli hung his head and turned away, ambling off without glancing back. He no doubt thought his wisdom was being rebuffed, and that Legolas was being a fool.
Perhaps Gimli was right. And Legolas was little better than Aragorn's whore...
Nay. He could not think like this. Especially now.
Legolas walked back over to Aragorn, who was silent, his eyes shut tightly. His face was a mask of pain. Legolas studied the lupine features, the dirt-covered rough beauty of Aragorn, son of Arathorn, for a moment before sitting down beside the ranger silently. Aragorn didn't move or make any response to Legolas' proximity, though doubtless he knew Legolas was there.
Legolas put his arms around Aragorn's silent, grieving form, and brought the dark-haired man's head to rest on his chest. Aragorn did not move or respond, as though he was dead. Legolas massaged the back of Aragorn's neck gently, trying to pour forth his love and devotion in his touch.
"Aragorn...it is not your fault...please...you could not prevent Boromir's death...you ran as fast as you could...as fast as any Elf could have. You could not have saved Merry and Pippin...they were gone, taken too fast. You had to let Frodo go...we were all tempted, not just you. Even I was tempted at one point. Even Mithrandir, do you remember? But you...you had the strength to let him go. It is more than I could have done, what many could have done. You could not stop the Fellowship from breaking, Aragorn. It was fate. Not even you can control fate. Do not blame yourself. We will save Merry and Pippin. Frodo and Sam will destroy the Ring. T'will be alright in the end. It has to be," Legolas whispered, running his other hand through Aragorn's sweat-soaked shaggy hair, cradling the human man against his chest.
"In the end, Aragorn, we are all only human, regardless of race...."
At these words Aragorn finally responded, and a strange keening sound escaped his lips for just a moment before fading away, a single sound of grief. Though no other sound escaped from Aragorn, Legolas could feel the hot, salty tears soak through his tunic and touch his skin. Ragged, broken, dirty fingernails dug into Legolas' sleeves, finding purchase on the Elf's smooth arms and clutched him tightly, as if Legolas was a piece of driftwood on a sea that raged around him.
Legolas could not take it any longer. Words were not enough. He had to show, to make Aragorn see. To offer him solace that went beyond a brief joining of bodies, and twining of limbs. He had to show Aragorn how much he loved him. Legolas drew himself up, pulled a part of his soul forward in himself, a piece of his heart to offer the Man he loved. An Elven gift, a communion of spirit.
Legolas literally poured all his love into Aragorn.
Arwen Evenstar stared aimlessly out of her window, her beautiful face bathed in moonlight. She heard her father, Elrond step into her room, but she didn't turn.
The dignified Elven lord sat down on a chair across from his daughter. Arwen sat on the bench before her bay window, looking lost and torn.
"Something troubles you, my daughter," Elrond said gently, not pushing, not needling...just...being a father.
Arwen finally turned to look at her father, and she smiled sadly. Her flawless, clear skin often reminded Elrond of a piece of carved ivory, with two dark sapphires for eyes, and hair like the night itself. That he had sired such beauty gave him a sense of pride he could not convey.
"He is drifting farther from me, my father," Arwen said softly, her voice like a sad chorus of musical bells.
Elrond was silent for a moment. "I do not...cannot...fully understand the love between you and Estel, Arwen..."
"I bound myself to him, Father."
Elrond swallowed, and his eyes went wide in understanding. "No!" he gasped softly.
Arwen turned back to face her window. "I gave him my necklace, and my immortality. If I had more, that I would give him that as well. I do not know what power it is he commands, but I would sacrifice my soul for him..." she said softly.
"He is but a Man, he will die and he will-"
"I would not wish to live without him."
Elrond hung his head.
"He has this...beautiful soul...you cannot help but love him. Even you. He doubts himself, hates himself. How unworthy and lowly he thinks he is. But he is beautiful, both inside and out. Within him lies a heart as strong as a dragon, a mind as bright as the sun, and a soul as pure as the moon. He has his faults, and yet...it is his faults that makes him so perfect...in a way that no Elf, no creature on Middle Earth could ever attain," Arwen said softly.
Elrond lifted his head and stared for a long time at his only daughter, the creature of beauty that he had helped create.
"The Shadow does not hold sway over him. He needs only to see that," Arwen continued after a moment, and then stopped.
"I did not know your love for him was as strong as that...that you..." Elrond trailed off, his voice breaking as he realized his daughter, his beautiful daughter was...mortal now.
Arwen turned again to offer her father another of her sad, sad smiles. "I am not the only one to see his beauty. To wish to give my heart and soul for one such as my Estel. I am not the only one who longs to offer love to Estel, to be one with him. To be part of him."
Elrond tilted his head in confusion. A lone tear rolled down Arwen's face.
"Would that I could hate him, but I know the spell he is under. We are the same, he and I, for loving Estel so. To be willing to sacrifice anything for him. I cannot begrudge him his love for Aragorn, son of Arathorn."
Elrond blinked, and it all came together in his mind, an understanding...
"I am glad that he went with Estel. I am glad he offers his love and his comfort, for surely with such a quest, Estel shall need love and support," here Arwen's voice broke and more tears spilled down her face, "But I know the heartache that Legolas must endure. The pain. For no Elf can love with just a part of their soul. And they can never love another."
"You cry for the Elf who loves your betrothed?" Elrond asked in wonderment.
"And I cry for me, Father. For I am not selfless, nor am I perfect. I cry because I wonder...I wonder...if my Estel shall come to love Legolas as he does me. Men are not like Elves. They have love as intense as ours, and yet...they can love more than once...and more than one person..."
Elrond just stared at his daughter, not entirely understanding her. For her love for Aragorn was beyond any even he had experienced.
"I saw the glimmer, many years ago, when I first met Estel. I saw the glimmer, but I gave it no thought. I saw the love, and even the jealousy in Legolas, but Legolas never acted on it. Legolas fears his own emotions, he fears me, and most of all, he fears Estel himself. T'was cowardice, I think, that kept Legolas silent. But on a quest to destroy the One Ring, and with such sorrows and pain as we can only imagine, how silent can he remain? And what of that glimmer in my love's eyes? That glimmer that led him to find comfort in Legolas' arms the night before the council? Can that glimmer, when faced with horrors untold, and suffering innumerable, when Legolas is the light that saves him from darkness, can that glimmer remain only a glimmer?
"Or can it grow? I know Estel's heart. Such love he has to give. Such love he is capable of. How, when Legolas is there, and Legolas reveals his true beauty, the beauty of his soul to Estel, can a glimmer remain just a glimmer? Love grows best in darkness, fed by the light that Legolas, no doubt, shines on him. How can he resist?"
Elrond was very, very quiet, staring at his hands, and then at his daughter. "You belittle his love for you. He would die for you, I know he would," he finally said
Arwen shook her head. "I know he would...and yet, he can still feel the same for another. What if...his heart gets torn in two? Either I, or Legolas shall have our heart broken. Estel cannot have us both."
Elrond turned his face, suddenly understanding the heartache and grief his daughter was suffering. To love Estel, and know that Legolas loved him just as much...to know that someone, somehow, was going to be hurt.
And in the end, wouldn't they all be hurt?
"He grows farther from me, I can feel it. He stands between two lights, in the shadows between. And as long as he does...the Shadow shall pursue him," Arwen said and then turned back to her moonlight, silent now.
Elrond stood up and put a gentle hand on his daughter's shoulder. "You love him and he loves you. Hold tightly to that love, Arwen. Do not doubt him. Do you love him so little that you would let him go?"
Arwen gave a small bitter laugh. "But the true question is if I love him enough that I will let him go...if he chooses Legolas...am I strong enough? Can I let my Estel go, if he chooses the love of the archer? Can I live without him? And if he chooses me, can I live with myself knowing that Legolas cannot live without him? Can I take Estel's love, knowing he has hurt Legolas beyond imagining? Ah, the double-edged sword of love. This would be so much less painful if I did not know what lies in Legolas' heart, for I feel the same as he. Part of me almost wants him to choose Legolas, so that the prince could finally find the true happiness that has eluded him for millennia..."
Elrond could not say anything to that revelation, so he turned and left. He glanced at his daughter once, before he left, his heart bleeding for her suffering.
Arwen's tear-stained face was bathed in moonlight, making her appear like a goddess of sorrow. Elrond bowed his head and left, wishing he could do something to make it right, to make it not hurt. He loved Arwen, wished no harm or pain to befall her...but what could he do? He could do naught but sit back and wait...
...wait to pick up the broken pieces of three hearts...
In truth, Legolas felt more drained than even Aragorn now.
It was a long time before Aragorn raised his head, and sat up to look Legolas in the eye. Legolas smiled weakly at the Man. Aragorn put a hand to Legolas' face and stared at him, slowly realizing what Legolas had just done for him.
"What have you done...?" Aragorn asked in wonderment.
Legolas turned his face. "It is called Communion, Aragorn. You were raised by Elves for the better part of your life. You should know this," Legolas said softly, his body swaying from effort.
This time, it was Aragorn who caught him, held him tight. "You drained yourself into me...gave me strength...but Communion...for an Elf to give Communion...you must love...love me..." Aragorn whispered in disbelief.
Legolas said nothing for a while. Aragorn stared in shock at the Elf as the archer put a hand on Aragorn's face, massaging the skin gently. "My strength shall return to me shortly. I knew of no other way to make you...believe...how important you are...how good you are...how I love you..." Legolas said softly.
Aragorn was silent, unmoving, his eyes wide in understanding, filled with odd, strange emotions.
The Elf leaned in closer and kissed the Man on the lips, their mouths joining for precious minutes, hungry, passionate, filled with unspoken emotions. Tongues danced in between their mouths, lips moved to devour the other.
It was Aragorn who broke the kiss. He clasped Legolas' beautiful, eternally youthful face in his hands and stared hard into those bottomless blue eyes.
"Nay, Legolas. You cannot love me. I forbid it. No other Elf shall give themselves...their immortality...nothing, to me. No more Communion, or comfort. I cannot allow you to do this to yourself. I am but a Man," Aragorn sternly.
Legolas swallowed, wishing he could break the gaze, but he found himself unable to. Legolas tried to speak, but he could not form a word.
"No, Legolas. You do not love me. It is a trick of your mind, a fleeting emotion. Forget about me," Aragorn said, sounding like the king that he was born to be.
Legolas' eyes were like twin pools of sorrow. "I cannot. I have loved you since I first saw your face, Aragorn, son of Arathorn. Can you not love me back...even a little?" he asked, hating the way his last question sounded almost like he was begging. Legolas cursed himself.
Aragorn suddenly looked away, and released Legolas, standing up. Still ebbing and flowing through him was Legolas’ love, Legolas’ support, Legolas’ strength, Legolas’ devotion, Legolas’ faith in him. Legolas had poured his love into Aragorn, and the ranger still felt the effects of the emotions spreading over him.
Legolas bowed his head. Aragorn's heart bled. How Legolas had comforted him, lent him strength, ever since they first met. And of late, the closer Aragorn grew to him, the more he hungered for him...the more he touched the smooth skin, and tasted the Elf on his lips, the more Aragorn thought of Legolas, wanted to be so near, so close to him. Aragorn glowed in the light Legolas shined on him...
And he could feel it. Legolas' love was washing over his very being. Not even with Arwen had Aragorn ever felt anything like Communion...
...no, he couldn't let himself...
"I cannot love you back, Legolas. I am betrothed, do you understand? Arwen has bound herself to me. She has given up her very immortality. I cannot betray her. I cannot let this go on. I cannot let you feel like that, too. I am unworthy enough for her affections, much less-"
"Stop saying that, Aragorn. Please. Have some respect for us, and stop saying you are unworthy of our love," Legolas said evenly, rising his head. No emotion was betrayed on his face, and he seemed flawless, haughty, like an Elf should be.
Aragorn turned his back to Legolas. He couldn't bare looking at the lack of emotions, the smooth dignity of the Elf. It made it worse than if Legolas had burst into tears.
"Don't love me, Legolas. I love Arwen with all my heart. I love you as I would a brother...and our dalliances must end. This is pure foolishness," Aragorn whispered, feeling the emotions Legolas had poured into him swirling around his heart. How could Legolas love him so much?
Legolas stood up, staring at Aragorn's back for a long time. "I really am just your whore, aren't I...?" Legolas whispered after a long while, and then he turned away, slowly and weakly walking from the small clearing.
Aragorn slumped back against the tree, not looking back at the Elf. No. He couldn't let himself feel anything for Legolas. No pity, no love, no compassion. Legolas had to stop loving him. He had to. Because Aragorn loved Arwen and no other.
It was a lie, he knew it was. But he forced himself to believe it.
Gimli knelt down beside Legolas. The Elf's normal mask of hauteur had slipped, and tears were pouring down his face. Gimli put a hand on his friend's shoulder and shook his head.
"You were right. I am just his whore, Gimli. That's all he ever wanted from me. A pretty Elf to bed whilst his Arwen was not around to comfort him. All he ever wanted was solace. That's all I'm good for," Legolas choked quietly.
"You told him, then?" Gimli sighed.
"He was suffering so...I wanted to give him part of myself. So I gave him Elven Communion...I let him feel my love, I let it...empower him...I knew...I shouldn't have...but he was in torment...and now I have added to his pain...I am a fool..." Legolas wept.
Gimli patted the Elf's shoulder. "And yet, you have your heart broken, and you still think of him...? Of his pain? Nay, Legolas. 'Tis Aragorn that is a fool. To refuse such love...‘tis folly," Gimli said gruffly.
"He has his Arwen. He needs nothing else."
Gimli eyed the weeping Elf. He never thought once to see an Elf cry. But then, he never thought to become friends with an Elf, either.
"If Aragorn needed naught but Arwen, then why did he ever seek solace in your arms to begin with?" Gimli asked wisely, and patted Legolas' shoulder once more before walking to the clearing to set up for their dinner.
He glanced back, and saw Legolas sitting by the tree, lost in thought, wiping at the tears on his face. When he entered the clearing, and looked off at the nearby trees, he saw Aragorn in much the same position.
Somehow, Gimli privately thought that things between Legolas and Aragorn would not end so easily, nor would they end here.
Love is never that simple.
Not the End.
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